We all make mistakes, some of them can be rectified and some teach us a lesson to be more careful the next time. The same applies while filling your tax returns; one innocent slip-up could cost you time and money. Be sure to double check your return for these common mistakes:
Tax Filing Mistakes You Must Avoid
1. Incorrect Filing Status: You can either be Single or Married and not both at the same time. If you are married, there is an additional preference where in you can file your taxes jointly or do it separately. But as a couple, you’ll need to maintain consistency. If you are checking it as married and filing separately, make sure that your spouse chooses the same too.
2. Incorrect Address: Avoid writing a wrong postal address. If you are submitting a paper return, it is advisable to use the peel-off label on the tax form you received in the mail. You can make corrections directly on the label. However, if you do not have a label or if there are too many corrections, make sure you clearly print your name, address and zip code on the return.
3. Unsigned Return: After doing all that hard work, don’t forget the most important and easiest part – signing the form! Neglecting this important last step could needlessly hold up your refund or, if you owe money, you will have to pay penalties and interest on your tax bill. If you are filing jointly, make sure that your spouse also signs and dates the return.
4. Math/Computation Errors: Always use a calculator and double check your return carefully to ensure that you have added and subtracted all those numbers correctly to avoid any last minute surprises. Computation errors are cousins to the standard math mistakes. Taxpayers or their tax pros make mistakes in figuring such tax-return entries as taxable income, withholding and estimated tax payments which should be avoided.
5. Misspelled Name: Tax return filing is all about numbers but words are equally important too. The processing of a tax return slows down when the names of a taxpayer, his or her spouse or their children don’t match. This often is a problem for new wives as many women change their surnames after they get married.
All in all, you can lessen the likelihood of making tax mistakes by filing your taxes electronically or by using tax preparation computer software that can help you avoid, or correct common errors because when it comes to filing your taxes, it can often pay to wait until the deadline.
By Rohit Matlapudi